Why Hope & Change Isn't Working Economically

Posted: Oct 31, 2009 11:58 PM
Having been the first voice in America to predict that Barack Obama would become President (doing so in December of 2006), I felt it appropriate to size up the 'O'-ministration one year since his historic election. That anniversary rolls out on Tuesday, so how does the scorecard look?

To be honest, not very good.

Over the course of the next few days, your humble correspondent will seek to roll out as broad an overview as possible of why the administration has failed on nearly every front of significance to the American voter. We will look at Economics, National Security, Civil Liberties, & Social/Moral issues.

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Economically speaking, President Obama's policies have accomplished nothing of real importance to the private sector of the American economy. In this lack of accomplishment, a string of promises has been broken. He also has advocated on behalf of policies that have taken circumstances into worse situations than when he was elected. And it is arguably believable that had he done nothing but just vote "present" as he did so often in his past, the economy might actually be in better shape.

President Obama's fundamental problem has been and continues to be the lack of job creation. He has pretended that such a thing as "jobs saved" is real, can be measured, and is actually demonstrating tremendous recovery potential in the still lackluster workplace. Given that there is no legitimate way the number of jobs saved can be counted, it needs to be understood that this tactic is a classic canard designed to throw those of us watching off the trail and to ask us to believe an unbelievable idea: that a recovery can happen without job creation.

Every President that has preceded President Obama has had to face the music on jobs. President Obama refuses to.

This is also not to say that we can't track other elements within the jobs sector to see if his policies are working. When the full-blown unemployment number is at, near, or having crossed 10%, we get one piece of the picture. But when we add in the fact that nearly double that number of Americans have settled for underemployment, and are thus unable to truly provide completely for the needs of their families, we see the fuller picture.

Two significant promises have been broken by the administration on the issue of jobs.

1. That they would prevent the unemployment number from ever breaching the 8% barrier.

2. That 90% of the new jobs created by the Economic Recovery Act (Stimulus) would be private sector-based jobs.

As most of America knows, the unemployment number was headed past 8% almost the minute that President Obama made that promise, and the watershed of reports on the actual jobs created by the stimulus are showing that over 50% of the jobs created this far have been in education and other public sector entities. The reports are also displaying a huge cost.

Assuming the White House's numbers to be accurate (which I have no confidence in whatsoever) the $1.6 billion portion of the stimulus-allocated funds created those 1 million jobs at the rate of $160,000 per job. Since roughly one third of those jobs were in the state of California in the public education sector and the average salary per those jobs runs $38,000 per year, how is any of this a savings? How is any of this efficient? How does any of this begin to correct the larger sectors of society?

It doesn't.

His broken promises and pay-to-play give-backs to the teacher's unions are only two-thirds of the problem for the President. The biggest of which is his purposeful ignorance of proven solutions.

On two levels, President Obama intends to tax the American people and then turn around and give them "free entitlements." On health care, his administration is willing to spend upwards of $17,000 per breathing individual in the nation, to offer universal health care coverage to those people who could purchase it for less than $6000 per year. In the process he is willing to bankrupt the competitive nature of health care by running private insurance out of business.

In addition, he is also attempting to pass on the single largest tax increase ever allocated against the poor in this nation through his dastardly cap-and-trade legislation. Through smoke and mirrors he pretends to punish corporations. But companies never pay taxes. They never have. And they will not under cap-and-trade. They will either pass the cost on to their customers, or they will go bankrupt. They have no other options.

Additional tax burdens, wasteful use of stimulus funds, and merely creating more government control are exactly the opposite of things any administration should be doing when needing to create more jobs.

Tax reductions, especially through incentives for small business who hire, reduction of government spending, and relinquishing government control over the individual would be all the small businesses of America would need to work our nation out of its current economic hardship.

These solutions are tried and tested, they've worked in Democratic and Republican administrations in the past, and they are exactly the solutions needed today.

Mr. Obama could turn the corner on his own agenda and begin to actually help the people of the United States.

12 months since his election, however, his economic grade is sadly a D minus, and that is probably more affirmative action than he should be afforded.